Adultery occurs when a married individual has an extramarital affair. Cheating can have dire implications for the state of a relationship. Many spouses simply cannot trust their partners anymore after they discover an affair. Anger about the betrayal, fear about someone’s conduct and even concerns about health issues all often follow the discovery of infidelity.
Divorce filings are also a common consequence of one spouse cheating on the other. Not only can adultery be the reason that people decide to file for divorce, but it can have a major impact on the process of a New Jersey divorce.
People may seek fault-based divorces
The majority of New Jersey divorce filings are no-fault divorces. People claim to have irreconcilable differences that caused a breakdown of the marriage and therefore do not need to prove anything to end the marriage. Those divorcing over infidelity could file a fault-based divorce on the legal grounds of adultery. Adultery is one of several scenarios in which the New Jersey courts may grant someone a divorce that declares their spouse at fault for the end of the marriage.
Financial misconduct can impact property division
For the most part, the bad behavior of spouses has minimal impact on the outcome of property division. However, adultery can sometimes involve the wasteful misuse of marital resources. If someone spent marital income paying for hotel rooms and gifts or if they added to credit card balances while conducting an affair, the other spouse could ask the courts to consider that dissipation of marital assets when dividing their assets.
Adultery could even affect alimony
When New Jersey judges hear requests for alimony, they have to consider numerous details about the marital situation. In addition to someone’s contributions to the marriage, judges may also consider how long the marriage lasted and the health of the spouses. Both physical and emotional health can influence alimony orders in New Jersey. The discovery of infidelity can have a damaging impact on someone’s mental health and could potentially affect what a judge believes is appropriate for alimony.
Oftentimes, those who discover adultery are eager to end their marriage and move on as quickly as possible. Yet, having a realistic understanding of how infidelity might affect a divorce more broadly may benefit those upset about the unfaithfulness of a spouse.